After we finished at the Golestan Palace we took a short walk to the Tehran Bazaar. We were not interested in shopping….even though there were many beautiful things to look at, some of which would look good in our home back in Perth, we have neither the room in our panniers nor the money to waste sending things home …..previously we looked at some hand painted bowls in Turkey but it was going to cost twice the price for shipping/postage so we left it.
Our presence in the Bazaar spread like wildfire….they know when tourists are around. People kept coming up to our guide and hassling her to invite us to come to their carpet shops…..she eventually told them we had come from Esfahan and we had bought in Esfahan….so we were not interested any longer…..they accepted this and left us alone. Nerjes had explained to me previously that the police arrest and fine women for things like wearing too much make-up, painting their nails, wearing too tight a manteau or showing too much fringe in their Hijab….as we passed an underwear store she pointed out a garment label with a picture of a woman wearing a bra….she explained that if the police came past and saw that they would fine the shop owner as he should black out the woman’s face. We walked past the Shah Mosque whilst in the Bazaar, but you had to hire a Chador to go in…and I was already so hot in what I was wearing we decided to give it a miss. I don’t know how Iranian women don’t pass out from all the clothes they have to wear in this stifling heat?
After the Bazaar Nerjes asked if we wanted to eat in town, as it was around lunch time. She took us to “Moslem” a well known local restaurant, where we tried the traditional dish of “Tay Chan”, a kind of rice cake that you eat with lamb or chicken. We had the lamb and it was also served with a different kind of rice as well….that goes with “lamb muscle”….it was delicious. Whilst we ate, Nerjes shared some personal stories of how her family celebrates the New Year. There was a young dyed blonde woman at the table who not only had her hair falling around her face and shoulders, but also hanging down her back…..and a face full of make-up….I thought of the huge fine she would get if the police came by.
Next we walked …..quite some way….to Meidan Mashgh Square where we saw at the entrance to the National Museum. All the Museums are located around this square and if and when we return to Tehran we will try and visit some of them.